A ghostwriter is a person with excellent writing skills who gets hired by a private or commercial entity, perhaps someone who is rich or famous, for the sole purpose of penning a book in their name while receiving no official credit.
The main goal of the ghostwriter is to transform the ramblings of some semi-literate aristocrat and turn it into a compelling tale which will sell units. For example, a properly ghostwritten autobiography will always encourage the reader to view its subject as a person whose feces they should consider consuming while also portraying them as someone who’s incapable of homicide and/or baby eating in all but the most extreme circumstances.
Who are these people?
Despite those excellent writing skills, a ghostwriter totally lacks the ability to create original content without a codependent. This impaired ability to generate commercially successful content necessitates that they earn a living churning out other people’s mindless drivel instead of their own. Typically, a ghostwriter is hideously unattractive, similar to the ugliness factor inherent with radio disc jockeys. God, in his wisdom, doesn’t waste beauty dust on a creature who will be spending their eternity working far out of sight in a cramped, cinder block building. Similarly, both of these occupations share a chronic aversion to sunlight and the consumption of unhealthy snack foods at a rate which could be considered gluttonous. What’s not similar is the fact that a ghostwriter doesn’t get to think up a catchy, yet asinine pun name like “Rick Shaw” or “Frieda Leave” and overtly whore themselves.
Disc jockeys are somewhat like lampreys who attach themselves to the sharks of the entertainment world and feed off the tiny bits of meat left behind in the wake of a commercial feeding frenzy. In this analogy the ghostwriter would be the shark’s lower intestines, absorbing the last morsels of content from the byproducts of fame. While the ghostwriter occupies a lower caste of artist/performer than the disc jockey, they do rank slightly above Austin Powers impersonators and people who entertain at children’s birthday parties. Nonetheless, these creatively deceased individuals still linger on this plane of existence for the sole purpose of making sure that some spoiled, drama queen celebrity is seen as having empathy with people who can’t really afford $25 for some piece of trash, 300 page, public relations snowjob attributed to a 25 year old multi-millionaire.
Ghostwriting in history
The first known use of a ghostwriter dates back to the penning of the Bible, one of the world’s most popular books. It also represented the last time that a ghostwriter was allowed to have anything beyond a superficial input into the finished work. The first drafts of several Old Testament books had to be rewritten to remove the continuous use of metaphors and motifs that proved both incongruous and lacking cohesion with the rest of the compilation.
Initially, the introduction of two wheeled, horseless chariots being ridden by prophets with flaming skulls was welcomed in 200 B.C. but the subsequent loss of church officials to a perceived need to self immolate while performing dangerous stunts necessitated a call for orthodoxy. After the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325, stories like Moses’ stunt jumping of the Red Sea and Jesus popping a wheelie in Herod’s Temple were rightfully lost to history — along with most creative input from ghostwriters.
Ghostwriting today and tomorrow
Attempts by ghostwriter lobbyists to transform their sordid, almost carny-like sub-profession into something hip and exciting have been numerous in recent years. This attempted alchemy seeks to transform a few hyperbolic portrayals into some kind of validation for their lack of creative mettle.
First came the indoctrination of children with the television show Ghostwriter in the early 1990s which featured a group of children who solve crimes with the aid of a ghost who communicates like he’s constructing a ransom note with magazine clippings.
Then came 2007’s Ghost Rider which featured Nicholas Cage writing romance novels, at the bequest of the Devil, while riding a flaming motorcycle. Most recently, 2010’s The Ghost Writer culminates this subversive trend with a ghostwriter being the lead character in the film and having adventurous, spine chilling, life or death experience in the course of his artistically bereft and inherently mundane duties.
Whether this attempted lipstick application to a wild boar’s anus will change the public perception of ghostwriting is unknown. However, when one looks at the current, downward economic trends and one factors in the ability for modern public figures and celebrities to be totally lazy and “too busy” to communicate properly, it points to a post apocalyptic future where hordes of mechanical ghostwriters communicate for mutants who’s bodies have atrophied after years of technological assistance and baby eating.